Educating Global Citizens after the Great War

| June 6, 2013

Date: 1920s

Event: World War I (1914-1918) was a turning point in modern warfare and global understanding, deeply affecting populations throughout the world. In its wake, leaders at Teachers College undertook efforts to include a new emphasis on international relations within their approach to higher education. Lawrence Cremin, David Shannon, and Mary Evelyn Townsend point to several events that took place at TC in the years immediately following World War I as evidence of this shift, including a 1918 speech by Dean James E. Russell, in which he called for an educational philosophy that emphasized “democratic citizenship”. In January of 1919, President Nicholas Murray Butler published the article “Education After the War” in Teachers College Record, which argued for global citizenship in education. In line with these calls to action and also as a response to the growing international student population at TC, the International Institute was founded in 1923 with the mission to develop international understanding through the student body and the research on international education carried out by its staff. By 1927, a total of 457 international students attended Teachers College and the first degrees for Teachers in Foreign Schools were awarded.

Source: Cremin, L., Shannon, D., Townsend, M. E. (1954). A History of Teachers College Columbia University. New York: Columbia University Press.

Library Researcher(s): Lea Lange